Farming News - FertigHy selects Northern France for first low-carbon fertiliser plant

FertigHy selects Northern France for first low-carbon fertiliser plant

  • New industrial-scale plant will produce 500,000 metric tons of low-carbon, nitrogen-based fertiliser annually from 2030, which corresponds to around 10% of France's agricultural sector's consumption
  • Plant will require an estimated €1.3 billion in investment, creating around 250 direct jobs in the region
  • The French government is prepared to assist FertigHy's project in order to ensure its success, as announced at the Choose France Summit


FertigHy, a pan-European producer of low-carbon, nitrogen-based fertiliser for the agricultural sector, will build its first factory in the Hauts-de-France region in Northern France. The €1.3 billion CAPEX investment build is expected to be in operation by 2030 and will produce low-carbon fertilisers. The production process will use renewable and low-carbon electricity to produce hydrogen, a substitute to imported natural gas. FertigHy will receive support from the French government to assist its kickstart operations in France. The announcement was made today at the Choose France Summit, hosted by Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

The agriculture sector alone is responsible for more than 10% of the European Union's total greenhouse gas emissions[1], with European farmers using over 11 million tonnes of nitrogen fertilisers each year. The European Commission has identified the energy-intensive sector as key for decarbonisation, supporting the transition to low-carbon, affordable alternatives which are produced locally.

Backed by its founding investors EIT InnoEnergy, RIC Energy, MAIRE, Siemens Financial Services, InVivo, and HEINEKEN, FertigHy plans to build, own and operate several large-scale fertiliser factories across Europe producing cost-competitive, low-carbon fertilisers for European farmers - starting in France.

José Antonio de las Heras, CEO of FertigHy, said: "A long-standing agricultural base and strong governmental support were principle triggers for FertigHy to choose Northern France to develop its first fertiliser manufacturing plant. Running on renewable and low-carbon electricity, this plant is a decisive step towards the production of European-made fertilisers and towards reducing imports of mineral nitrogen fertilisers. FertigHy will therefore contribute to the decarbonisation of French agriculture, where fertilisers production and use currently account for 30% of the sector's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Roland Lescure, Deputy Minister for Industry and Energy of France, commented: "We're delighted to confirm the commitment of the French state for helping FertigHy to set up its first industrial facility in France. This project is undoubtedly a unique opportunity for France and its agriculture. This project represents one additional step towards the industry's decarbonisation and strengthens Europe's sovereignty in this sector. Choosing our country for the building of this first facility is further proof of France's appeal."

Laurent Saint-Martin, CEO of Business France, added: "We welcome the establishment in France of this first low-carbon fertiliser production plant, supported by our teams. This investment demonstrates our commitment to promoting an industry with a reduced carbon footprint and contributes to building a sustainable future for all."

Construction of the factory will begin in 2027. Once complete in 2030, the plant will bring 250 direct jobs to the area and deliver 500,000 tons of low-carbon nitrogen-based fertiliser annually, which equates to around 10% of France's agricultural sector's consumption. A second FertigHy factory is planned to be built in Spain and shall become operational soon after the French one.

[1]* On a nutrient basis.